Principals at three Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) District schools undergoing leadership assessments do have the capacity to lead their school’s continued improvement efforts, according to the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE). Findings of the leadership assessments conducted at Doss, Iroquois and Seneca High schools were released this morning to JCPS Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens and the principals.
Each school has been designated as a priority school by the KDE, and the leadership assessment is part of the KDE’s ongoing review of these schools. As part of the review, the KDE Leadership Assessment Team determined that Doss Principal Marty Pollio, Iroquois Principal Clay Holbrook and Seneca Principal Kim Morales have the capacity to lead improvement interventions.
“I’m proud but not surprised that these thorough, independent assessments by the Kentucky Department of Education recognize the strong leadership and student-centered focus of Doss, Iroquois and Seneca,” Dr. Hargens said. “We appreciate the diligent work of the assessment teams, and we welcome the fresh perspective on our strengths and challenges as we continue to create an optimal learning environment for all JCPS students.”
Some highlights from the assessments include the following:
Doss High School
- The assessment team noted in its report that “the leadership of Doss High School has made a significant shift in transforming the school.”
- Reviewers noted that in less than two years the school has made “major strides to cultivate a positive school culture, improve student behavior, enhance student engagement and improve instructional practices.”
- The team praised the school’s culture of high expectations that “permeated across the school.”
- The KDE review team also noted areas where the school can improve. Those areas include providing new teachers with additional supports and mentoring, encouraging teachers to provide students with tangible examples of mastering academic standards and continuing its goal to ensure rigorous academic curriculum in all courses and classes.
Iroquois High School
- The assessment team noted that the principal has formed a committee to assist in the redevelopment of a mission and vision for the school, because he “wanted it to be more than words, but lived everyday throughout the school.”
- The team recognized the principal’s focus to provide support services to students and their families through the implementation of a Parent Center – a center created to ensure parents had ongoing access to their child’s academic performance even when there was not a computer in the home.
- The team recognized the school’s focus on building relationships with students and the community, and noted its focus on academic achievement – particularly in the area of college and career readiness.
- The KDE team also noted areas where the school should focus its improvement efforts. Those areas include monitoring and supporting teacher instruction to increase learning and student achievement.
Seneca High School
- KDE noted the efforts of the principal to create a new vision for the school and a renewed focus on collaboration, collegiality and a positive school culture.
- Reviewers recognized the school’s efforts to build caring relationships with scholars and staff. In fact, the team noted that when it asked scholars what they liked most about the school, the responses overwhelmingly noted Seneca’s “diversity and acceptance of all students.”
- The KDE team also noted areas where the school should focus its improvement efforts. Those areas include continuing to align curriculum and resources to improve student achievement and supporting instructional practices of teachers to increase student learning and achievement.
Copies of the leadership reviews are available here.